A history of Irish football

  • Irish football association (I.F.A.) formed.

    First Irish football association governing football in all of Ireland is formed in Ulster.
  • Football association of Ireland (F.A.I.) formed.

    Seperate football association formed in Dublin for the 'Irish free state', now known as the Republic of Ireland. Split from I.F.A. due to alleged Ulster bias.
  • F.A.I. accepted into FIFA.

    F.A.I. accepted into the football community despite opposition from the associations of the home nations.
  • Northern Ireland compete in World Cup.

    Northern Ireland travel to Mexico to compete in the World Cup. To date it is the last major championships they have been involved in.
  • Presidents of both associations meet.

    Jim Boyce and Bernard O'Byrne meet and discuss at length the issue of Northern Ireland’s eligible players opting to play for the Republic. Talks were described as very positive.
  • Neil Lennon retires from international football.

    Neil Lennon quits Northern Ireland after he and his family receive death threats.
  • Darron Gibson makes debut for R.O.I

    Dispute escalates between the Irish associations after the Manchester United midfielder rejects the chance to play for Northern Ireland in favour of the Republic of Ireland. Gibson chooses R.O.I. despite being born in Derry and representing Northern Ireland at under 16 level.
  • FIFA intervene in row.

    FIFA send a letter to I.F.A. stating that players born in Northern Ireland are eligible for the Republic of Ireland.
  • FIFA rule in favour of Republic of Ireland

    FIFA meet in Tokyo to discuss eligibility row between F.A.I and I.F.A. and rule in favour of F.A.I.
  • Republic of Ireland qualify for 2012 European Championships fuelling specul;ation that more players from Northern Ireland will declare for the Republic

  • Latest Fifa world rankings released.

    Republic of Ireland rise four places to 21st while Northern Ireland drop five places to 89th, further highlighting the gulf in standards between the nations.